Classroom of the Elite Volume 9 Chapter 1
“The Student Council President’s Intentions”
Minor Editing by Graze
Early February, after the training camp ended and the return to the Advanced Nurturing High School. Sakayanagi Arisu from Class A of the 1st years was in the student council room.
Placing her favorite hat on the desk, she faced the student council president Nagumo Miyabi from Class A of the 2nd years.
“The student council room has become rather flashy. It’s completely different from the way it used to be.”
To put it nicely, it’s prim and proper.
To put it meanly, it’s become an exceedingly formal room. Even the wallpapers have been changed and accessories that look like Nagumo’s personal belongings have been moved here in bulk.
Rather than a student council room, it looked more like a room that exists for Nagumo’s sake.
Renovations of that sort have been performed.
A place that exists almost as a sort of symbol of his might.
That’s the impression Sakayanagi had of it.
“Did Horikita-senpai recommend you for the student council, by any chance?”
At the visit of Sakayanagi, who seemed entirely unrelated to the student council, Nagumo posed that question.
“Unfortunately, I’m not a fit for that role so I was not invited to do so.”
“He just doesn’t have a good eye for that sort of stuff.”
“Then perhaps you mean to say you’re different, new student council president?”
Nagumo laughed faintly.
“Of course I’d welcome you. But then you’d have to be my personal property though.”
Answering with that, Nagumo caressed the head of the stuffed rabbit near him.
Is it his? Or perhaps it’s from one of the girls around him?
Be his personal property. In other words, it means he has no interest in borrowing the talent of others. He makes decisions based on looks alone.
She could have overlooked it but Sakayanagi boldly chose to pursue that topic.
“What will I have to do in order to acquire your seal of approval, I wonder?”
“By showing me an appropriate amount of talent. That’s the only way. First off, it’s not too late to join the student council you know? Come over to my side, Sakayanagi.”
Sakayanagi smiled, but then immediately continued.
“Let’s not. I think it would be a problem for there to be two leaders in one organization. And most importantly, the senior students may be humiliated.”
“Two leaders, huh?”
It’s like Sakayanagi is saying that she’s equal to Nagumo if not superior to him despite only being a 1st year.
But even after hearing that, Nagumo did not grow angry. On the contrary, he relaxed his cheeks even more than before and laughed.
“Both you and Ryuuen. We’ve got a lot of interesting 1st years this year, don’t we?”
This school doesn’t have a single student considering making the student council their enemy.
Most would nestle up to it in an attempt to make it to Class A. Or they’d make sure to not attract its attention.
But both Sakayanagi here and Ryuuen would not think twice about making enemies out of anyone. And they’d show no mercy either.
“I can’t say that’s a wise lifestyle choice.”
There are students who’d praise that sort of student with enemies in all directions, but Nagumo isn’t one of them.
He’d rather acknowledge those who are willing to throw away their pride at times in order to make use of their power to accomplish a goal.
And with that, Nagumo’s phone which had been placed on top of the desk up until now, vibrated once. The vibrations continued a few times after that at short intervals.
“Is that fine?”
“I’m currently setting aside time for you. Don’t worry about it.”
“Popular people sure have it tough, don’t they? Surely you always get calls like this without fail?”
“If you understand that then why don’t we get down to business? If you don’t wish to join the student council then what business do you have with me to the point you’d have me clear out the room? I’m sorry but after this, another ’1st year’ is going to be paying me a visit. They’ve already made an appointment with me so I can’t set aside much time for you.”
“Is that so? Then I suppose I’d best get on with it.”
Nagumo deliberately said it was a ‘1st year’ to Sakayanagi yet there was no change in her expression.
But Nagumo concluded that on the contrary, it meant that she’s interested.
“I came here today to ask you for a favor. It’s about a member of the student council, Ichinose Honami-san from Class B of the 1st years. I will be launching an attack against her shortly. It may get somewhat stormy once that happens.”
“I’ve heard that one before. So?”
Nagumo urged her to continue. This is something Nagumo heard from Sakayanagi during their previous meeting alone.
Of course, there aren’t that many people aware of this fact.
“She’s the only 1st year in the student council. In other words, you could say she’s slated to become the future student council president.”
“Assuming none of the other 1st years are accepted into the student council and there’s no outstanding talent among the incoming freshmen either, that is.”
“Yes, you are right.”
In other words, Ichinose’s loss is also the student council and Nagumo’s loss.
“As a ‘thank you’ for the other day, I thought to inform you of it in advance. In the worst case scenario, Ichinose Honami-san may be expelled so I must ask you to bear with it.”
Sakayanagi declared that without showing any fear of Nagumo.
“I don’t recall giving you permission to ‘go that far’, Sakayanagi.”
For the first time, Nagumo’s smile vanished.
“Yes, you did say to merely bully Ichinose-san and no more, President. However, I was thinking I’d play rough with her for a bit.”
“Honami is my personal property I plan on loving. I only gave you permission to weaken her a bit.”
“I am well aware of it. But, there are always unforeseen factors in play.”
Nagumo stared down Sakayanagi with a slightly sharp gaze.
Some may even describe it as a glare.
Sakayanagi coolly shrugged off that stare from Nagumo.
“So you… won’t mind it if she does end up getting expelled?”
Nagumo slowly raised his elbow from the chair’s armrest.
“You’re a bold woman. Aren’t you afraid of me?”
“It’s just in my nature.”
“Tell me something. You could’ve simply done what you wanted without asking me for my permission. But you still dutifully came here like this to ask for my permission. Should I assume this means you don’t want to make an enemy out of me?”
Nagumo asked Sakayanagi that question, not fooled by words like respect.
“You may interpret it however you wish.”
“Don’t hide it. I want your honest thoughts on it.”
Nagumo tried to uncover her true intentions, the flattery notwithstanding.
“The student council at this school appears to possess more power than I expected it to at first. If, in order to protect Ichinose-san, the student council… No, if President Nagumo makes a move then it will be troublesome for me as well.”
Sakayanagi too, wishes to avoid having Nagumo cover for Ichinose.
That was her response.
As though satisfied with that, Nagumo flashed a smile.
It was a roundabout way of saying so but it does mean she does not wish to make Nagumo her enemy.
“Looks like the information I gave you is proving useful.”
“Yes. Thanks to you, it appears I will be able to strike at Ichinose-san’s weak point. I will be putting that information to better use from this point onwards.”
“Very well, Sakayanagi. The student council too will turn a blind eye to your actions.”
“Shall I also assume the student council ’too’ will turn a blind eye?”
There’s no way Sakayanagi would miss it in the pledge Nagumo made.
“…fuu. Ahh, there’s no duplicity in saying the student council ‘too’. What are you thinking of doing?”
“That’s for you to look forward to… I’ll leave it at that.”
There are no upsides to discussing her strategy here. That’s the decision Sakayanagi made.
The man in front of her, Nagumo, is someone who isn’t the least bit trustworthy. He’s simply going to throw away someone who could become an asset for the student council.
“By the way, I don’t get many chances to speak with you alone like this so there’s something else I’d like to ask you.”
“The possibility of it happening is low but when the going gets tough, as a drastic measure… there’s no guarantee that there won’t be a student who wouldn’t resort to brute force. I’d like to hear your thoughts about that, President.”
Sakayanagi is confident she won’t lose to the resourceful type like Katsuragi, Ichinose or Horikita. But, violence is a different story. A cripple like Sakayanagi would stand no chance.
“You don’t fare so well against the type of person who’d resort to using brute force at the very last moment?”
“It’s not exactly my speciality.”
All the more so for Sakayanagi, who is physically handicapped.
“Unfortunately for you, I don’t particularly dislike the use of violence either. In the first place, fights breaking out between students is a normal occurrence. Unlike Horikita-senpai, I don’t plan to crack down on them either and… if it’s just a skirmish I plan on laughing it off.”
That declaration seemed to put Sakayanagi, weak against violence, at a disadvantage. But Sakayanagi was concerned about something else entirely.
“I see… Then of the fight that broke out between Class D and Class C of the 1st years a while back. If it were you, President Nagumo, would you have handed down a different sentence than the previous student council president?”
Sudou and Ishizaki’s group, which side threw the punch and which side was punched. That incident where they quarrelled over surveillance cameras and what not.
Even though Nagumo was not directly involved with that, there’s no way he wouldn’t have known of it given that he always sticks to Horikita Manabu.
“Let’s see… That incident which ended up getting the school involved. I can’t really give an innocent verdict on that but I won’t push them to the point of expulsion over it either. I’d end it by merely suspending the parties involved from school. Of course, I won’t demand their class points be deducted either.”
That’s the student council’s opinion of it at best, was what Nagumo added.
No matter how tolerant the student council is, if the school says ‘no’ then it’s a ‘no’.
Sakayanagi is most likely well aware of that fact too.
Even if they are far more powerful than your average student council, they are at the end of the day, still only students. One cannot afford to forget that.
“I see. I understand you are an extremely tolerant person.”
One must keep in mind that in the future, battles involving intimidation and violence will become a reality and to factor that into their calculations.
“If you’re so worried about that, I can prepare a 2nd year escort for you.”
The 2nd years will use force to subdue the 1st years.
The student council president made that offer.
“I am most grateful but that will be unnecessary. To fight with the pieces I hold in hand is my modus operandi.”
What Sakayanagi wanted to know was ‘how far she can take it until it’s no longer safe’.
It’s more than enough for her knowing that she has the right to counterattack after being attacked.
“Are you satisfied?”
Satisfied with her conversation with Nagumo, Sakayanagi slowly stood up while grabbing onto her cane.
“Oh, speaking of which-”
“You still have something for me?”
It can’t take much time. Paying no heed to those words from Nagumo, Sakayanagi continued.
“Our conversation is completely over but I happened to hear something interesting. About a student purchasing private points from 3rd years who are about to graduate, or something? A strategy which makes use of what the school collects prior to graduation and uses it as currency post-graduation. Truly a formidable… You could almost call it a surefire way to graduate from Class A.”
During the training camp a few days back. It’s a topic that came up during Kouenji and Nagumo’s conversation.
It’s information only the boys overheard but it wouldn’t be strange for one of the boys to have informed Sakayanagi. On the contrary, you could even say it’s something they’d definitely want to let Sakayanagi know of.
“I made sure he can’t use that strategy anymore. Besides, it’s not like Kōenji’s the only one who thought of that strategy. There are more than a few students who have thought to transfer the surplus private points that 3rd years nearing graduation possess.”
Nagumo sneered as though saying it’s something that’s already been done repeatedly in the past.
“That’s why the school announces that they’ll be collecting ‘private points leftover at graduation’ when you get to the 3rd year. It’s customary.”
“Is that so? The way we understand the rules, the private points are to be collected at graduation and therefore they are rendered worthless upon graduation. Which is why it wouldn’t be strange for a 3rd year to think of entrusting their private points to an underclassman they’re close with.”
Even dust that piles up will eventually become a mountain.
Just by acquiring private points from several people, a select few students will be able to collect a considerable amount.
It’s no wonder Nagumo realized Kōenji’s made his move at an early stage.
“Normally speaking, it’s information announced only to the 3rd years. I’ll just ignore how you, President, were able to obtain this information despite only being a 2nd year… and the reason you boldly declared this in front of a 1st year is because you intend on altering this limiting rule you just spoke of, is that it?”
“Kōenji seems to be the only one in possession of an amount greater than what the school permits after all. It’s a form of rule violation.”
By announcing it in front of boys from across all school years, it tipped the school off to a loophole in their rule. There’s a high possibility that they’ll be adding a rule to deter 3rd years from transferring their private points.
Normally speaking, no matter how wealthy the family you’re born into is, there’s still no guarantee that you’ll pay up after graduation.
However, Kōenji’s a special exception.
It’s well known that Kōenji Rokusuke is in possession of a large amount of personal assets as a 1st year high school student on the Kōenji Conglomerate’s official website.
Even though there’s the possibility that he will renege on his promise, taking a risk is still well worth it.
“But being born into money, that is yet another ‘ability’. Is he not allowed to make use of it?”
“Then does anticipating it and shutting it down also not count as an ‘ability’?”
“Fufu. That is certainly true.”
Sakayanagi laughed as though fascinated and tapped her cane lightly once.
“I never liked the school’s rule that allows you to save up 20 million points to rise to Class A. If possible, I’d like to revise the system itself. Well, even supposing this system will no longer exist in the future, it still won’t apply to you 1st years though.”
As a measure this school took, Sakayanagi and the other 1st years have already been made aware of this rule.
Taking the possibility that there are students counting on saving up 20 million points into consideration, they cannot repeal it.
“But I’ve heard there hasn’t been a single student so far able to save up 20 million points independently. I don’t believe you need to worry about that rule if it’s nothing more than a formality.”
“It just means you can’t save up that much alone.”
“It is meaningless to save up as a class. There is the strategy of sending someone to an enemy class as a spy and there are students who fear that but it’s not very realistic. Even if one of the lower classes were to send their own to the upper classes, once they’re part of the privileged Class A they will just end up turning traitor.”
“That’s right. There’s no merit to be found in going out of your way to knock down a strong class. But you can’t rule out students with a strong sense of justice acting for the sake of their comrades.”
“I suppose you’re right. But surely the upper classes also won’t fork over information to a student who just joined them out of the blue. Besides, in the school’s exams, a minus that occurs because of you may come back to bite you. If you deliberately sabotage your class, you yourself will be expelled.”
Understanding that Sakayanagi has completely comprehended the system, Nagumo nodded in satisfaction.
“I’ll just give you this one warning. I don’t dislike that aggressive attitude of yours but you will flounder if you make enemies out of everyone at this stage, you know? Don’t you think it’s better to earn the trust of your surroundings first? It’s still not too late. Build trust.”
“And to use that trust as a weapon to ensure victory?”
“It’s the most efficient strategy.”
A betrayal from someone you’re sure would never betray you. It’d be an attack that would be more than enough to cause critical damage.
“But if you say to build trust then perhaps you were too quick to throw away the trust you’ve taken care to establish, President? Like you said, don’t you think it would be far more effective to use it at the very end?”
A declaration of war against the former student council president during the training camp. And the betrayal of that trust.
“I threw away the trust?”
In response to Sakayanagi’s words, Nagumo gave that response while looking like he was holding back laughter.
“I definitely lost Horikita-senpai’s trust and the trust of the students of 3rd year Class A. But nothing’s changed in regards to the 2nd years and the other 3rd years. The 1st years will come to understand that right away too.”
Nagumo’s tough act and his conceit.
For a moment, that was what Sakayanagi thought but she immediately changed her mind. Even breaking the rules he established with Horikita Manabu had been something planned from the beginning.
It may be a consensus that the 2nd years had reached beforehand.
“Let me make a correction here, Sakayanagi. I acknowledge your talent. If you wish to join the student council at any point in the future, I will allow it.”
“Thank you. That aside, I’m glad I came here today. I was able to learn the sort of person you are, President Nagumo. At the very least, I’m glad to know that you and I are more alike than I ever was with President Horikita.”
Politely bowing her head, Sakayanagi left the student council room. And when she did, Nagumo immediately followed her.
“You left your hat.”
“My, my. Thank you very much.”
After taking her hat back, Sakayanagi once again lowered her head.
“Please excuse me.”
“Sakayanagi, would you happen to know anything about Ayanokōji?”
Nagumo asked that unexpected question.
“Ayanokōji…? I am somewhat familiar with that name. He’s a 1st year, is he not?”
“I see, no, it’s nothing.”
If she doesn’t know then there’s no reason to talk about it, Nagumo tried to end the conversation with that.
“If necessary, I can investigate him for you though?”
Sakayanagi offered her assistance as though taking a bold step forward.
“No, I said something unnecessary. Forget it.”
“Is that so? Then excuse me.”
When Sakayanagi walked off, she ran into a lone female student. She’s someone even Sakayanagi with her small social network is aware of: Kushida Kikyō from Class C of the 1st years.
“A coincidence, is it not? Do you, by any chance, have business at the student council room?”
“Yeah. I was thinking I’d apply for the student council. Could it be you’re the same, Sakayanagi-san?”
“Something along the lines of that. Please excuse me.”
“See you later~”
Sakayanagi felt somewhat doubtful that Kushida would want to join the student council at a time like this. Normally speaking, an honor student like her aiming for the student council wouldn’t be out of place. But she wasn’t convinced.
The girls are also well aware of Nagumo’s actions during the special exam. It may be a different story for a senior student who knows Nagumo well but it wouldn’t be strange for a 1st year to be suspicious of Nagumo’s actions.
If she is aware of Ayanokōji Kiyotaka’s true nature and is in cahoots with him then there’s the possibility that she’s been sent to investigate Nagumo.
But knowing Ayanokōji’s personality, he won’t carelessly get involved with Nagumo at this stage.
There hasn’t been a single bad rumor about her. She’s nothing but benevolent.
“Fufu. It’s exactly that sort of person who’d unexpectedly turn villainous though.”
At the very least, Sakayanagi doesn’t believe that she’s purely good.